Although most of my reading falls in the fantasy & science fiction category, I love a good thriller, and Rick Mofina writes very effective ones. I'm coming in to the middle of his Jack Gannon series with the second book, The Panic Zone (MIRA, 2010), which I picked up at my favorite used bookstore in Stratford. I'll definitely be picking up the first and third. In the meantime, let me recommend the second as a great combination of classic mass-murder-plot thriller and scary disease story -- Black Sunday meets The Hot Zone.
Buffalo journalist Jack Gannon, newly employed by the World Press Alliance (an Associated Press-style news wire service), is sent to Brazil to see what he can find out about a bombing that killed two WPA journalists. A woman is thrown clear of a Wyoming car crash that kills her husband and her child -- or did the latter survive? These events are not unrelated, though it takes lots of pages and patient unraveling of a deliciously complicated international plot involving a renegade CIA scientist and secret research on weaponizing hemmorhagic fevers like Ebola, which really doesn't need any help to be terrifying, to find this out. It's a fun, suspense-filled ride with plenty of cheap emotional hits involving bereaved parents, a few gory deaths, and some rather science fictional nanotech. Perfect vacation reading, in other words. Mofina doesn't write deep, but he does write lovely plot tangles, and builds suspense so well that he makes you forget for the duration that you know it's going to all be solved in the nick of time.
Recommended for anyone who likes a good, light thriller. Read for yourself: